California is certainly known for its fantastic wine and grapes (after all, it is the fourth leading wine-producing region in the world after France, Italy and Spain). And there's no better place better to try a new fruity chardonnay or sip an oaky cabernet sauvignon than in Los Angeles, where wine bars new and old proudly serve locally harvested, award-winning vintages paired with delicious, innovative food.
Wine and Lasagna Cupcakes in Pasadena
With a cheap flight to Los Angeles, you'll have more in your vacation budget to sample the city's wine scene. Begin your wine crawl at Everson Royce, a new wine bar in historic Old Pasadena. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, and features a wine list so diverse, there's something for everyone. Here, you can sample everything from a 2011 Jackhamme, Central Coast Pinot Noir at $13.50 to a red 2008 Favia Cerro Sur, Napa Valley for $120. Everson partners with Heirloom LA's Food Truck where guests can try Heirloom's signature lasagna cupcakes and other fresh pasta dishes paired with Everson wines. Heirloom parks outside Everson every Tuesday 5-8 pm.
Music and Wine Under the Stars
Los Angeles' immensely popular iconic Hollywood Bowl  is an amphitheater established in 1922. Since then, it has steadily attracted the world's top musicians and talents. Plus, it is also where the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra—and its charismatic 32-year-old conductor, Gustavo Dudamel—perform during the summer. In May, just in time for the kickoff to the outdoor summer concert season, the Hollywood Bowl opened a new wine bar designed by renowned Callas Architects. This modern wine bar includes circular canopies that play off the curves of the Hollywood Bowl theater and is located at the existing Marketplace, which sells concessions to concert guests.
California Cool at Malibu Wines
Open seven days a week, Malibu Wines is 25 miles north of Santa Monica – about six miles off the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. Surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains, olive groves and sunshine, this popular summer spot is where Californians and visitors alike gather to taste the tremendous range of wines that come from the Golden States hundreds of vineyards. Chardonnay is the state's leading wine, with an estimated 95,000 acres of land devoted to its production, followed by cabernet sauvignon, with 76,800 acres, according to the California-based Wine Institute. You can find a variety of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignons, and others, including zinfandels, pinot noirs and merlots at Malibu Wines. Semler and Saddlerock are Malibu Wines' estate vines, with Semler actually grown across the street and in full view from the outdoor tasting room.
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Photo Credit: Flickr, Ashley Morrison 

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